Some students feel disconnected from their schools. This may lead to attendance
problems, behavioral concerns, and eventually to dropping out. Traditional schools
work for most students. What happens to those for whom schools are not working?
Alternative schools exist to meet the needs and interests of these particular
groups of students. Alternative schools try to personalize learning for students to
engage them in all dimensions—socially, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and
morally. Alternative schools recognize that different students learn in different ways
and that learners find meaning as they connect learning to their “real” lives.
Alternative schools celebrate diversity and the worth of each individual student while
recognizing the cost to the community when any student is not successful.
Most alternative schools provide smaller class sizes, lower student/teacher ratios, and
emphasize the value of caring adults (staff and others) in young people’s lives. As
smaller schools, organizationally they can be more relaxed, flexible, and responsive to
changing student needs and learning styles. Many schools emphasize career/
vocational connections. To be successful, schools must also provide services to
address the challenges alternative education students face in their lives outside of the
Current Battle Creek Area Alternative Education programs serve a variety of learners.
Area school districts are working collaboratively to coordinate services to best serve
students and to identify emerging unmet needs.